Thursday, May 03, 2012

Avenue of Suite Dreams...

Ludmilla and Conrad Cafritz
by contributor Donna Shor
Photo credit: Mark Silva for Avenue Suites

It’s tempting to just dream away in the comfortable suites of the new Avenue Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue’s West End, just at the edge of Georgetown.

Millions have been spent in re-birthing the former hotel which occupied the site and Conrad Cafritz who has developed it has wisely chosen just the architect and interior designers to create a warm, contemporary  setting.

Bill Homan and Winston Lord 

Cafritz tapped acclaimed architect Mark McInturff (250 awards to his credit!) to redo the façade and reconfigure spaces in the original hotel and chose architect-designers Hapstack & Demetriou, known for their excellent restaurant and hotel decors, to create the classic, stylish  interiors.

When Conrad and Ludmilla Cafritz greeted their guests at a reception celebrating Avenue’s creation, the stylish crowd matched the sophisticated setting perfectly.

Maria Trabocchi and Jim Kimsey
Among those admiring the bedroom suites, with their 6-foot desks, well-stocked refrigerators provisioned to order and a host of business amenities, were AOL co-founder Jim Kimsey, artists’ facilitator and muse Philippa Hughes, French journalist and designer Corrine Bensahel, Vital Voice’s Margaux Bergen, financial adviser and art collector Rod von Lipsey and his wife Alexia, and Georgetown developer Anthony Lanier.

The party centered in the hotel’s welcoming “A Bar,” but many found the leafy garden patio so attractive and the service so good that they didn’t make it to the inside bar until the evening had almost ended.

David and Nycci Nellis
One of those was vibrant Olvia Demetriou who with Peter Hapstack formed their new company less than a year ago. Two weeks before they joined forces, they had been determined rivals, sparring for clients before they agreed to agree as a team. 
Bruce Bradley, Tracy Bernstein, Adam Bernstein
Olvia is following in the footsteps of her late father Angelos Demetriou, the internationally known architect and urban planner of cities both here and abroad.  Demetriou was instrumental in transforming the Georgetown waterfront and in revitalizing that same West End where his daughter has helped create the Avenue Suite Hotel.

Sometimes life comes full circle.